Sinema returns to Arizona for a medical appointment and a scheduled fundraiser, as a social spending deal remains elusive.
As Democrats pushed for a deal on a hard-fought social safety net law, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema left Washington on Friday. The reason, her spokesperson said, was a medical appointment for a foot injury.
But on Saturday, she’s also scheduled to attend her political action committee’s “retreat” with donors at a luxury Phoenix resort and spa, three different sources have confirmed, including one participant. The hotel also confirmed the event, which will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by dinner.
Fundraising for lawmakers isn’t uncommon, of course, but Ms. Sinema’s timing is sure to heighten the frustration her fellow Democrats are already feeling toward the senator. President Biden and Democratic Congressional leaders are trying to negotiate a framework agreement on a climate change and social policy bill that can be passed with the votes of any Senate Democrat and virtually any House Democrat.
This need for unanimity has given Ms Sinema a right of veto. The senator, who is not eligible for reelection until 2024, has met repeatedly with White House negotiators, but some Democrats say she has not been involved in the intense negotiations needed to at least agree on a 10-year deal. annual cost of the account. By contrast, the other holdout, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, will remain in Washington this weekend.
Earlier this week, Ms. Sinema’s “Sinema for Arizona” fundraising division held an event on Capitol Hill featuring five corporate lobby groups, many of which vehemently oppose the bill she’s supposed to be negotiating. Under Ms. Sinema’s political logo, the influential National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and the Grocery PAC, along with lobbyists for roofers and electrical contractors and a small business group called the S-Corp Political Action Committee, invited members of the association to a unnamed location on Tuesday afternoon for 45 minutes to write checks for between $1,000 and $5,800.
This weekend’s event is being billed as a “retreat” for her political action committee.
Senator’s spokesman John LaBombard said Friday: “Senator Sinema is currently in Phoenix, where she has a medical appointment today for her broken foot, and where she is continuing remote negotiations with the White House. Before leaving Washington for Arizona, she offered the White House time for further remote negotiations.”
She would begin her next meeting with White House officials at 2:30 p.m., he said.